Child-safe outlet plate
Electric power socket
Gated electrical safety outlet
Apparatus for providing AC power to airborne in-seat power systems
Shielding cap and electric socket arrangement Patent #: 6602081
ApplicationNo. 10682206 filed on 10/10/2003
US Classes:439/137, Moved by mating connector439/106, Three-prong coupling part including ground prong, or receptacle439/134, Prong cover439/143, To misalign aperture with contact439/536Supporting means comprising face plate or closure member for outlet box
ExaminersPrimary: Nguyen, Truc
Attorney, Agent or Firm
International ClassH01R 1344
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
(a) Field of the Invention
The present invention relates to power plug receptacles having safety features, and more particularly to a power plug receptacle having a safety cover, wherein a socket is coupled with a rotary safety cover that is resiliently ejected by a spring to cover the holes of the socket when not being used. The safety cover thus can prevent the socket from foreign object intrusion.
(b) Description of the Prior Art
The power plug receptacles of the prior art, installed on a wall or being a part of a power cord, have a number of sockets each having two or three holes for receiving a power plug. The sockets of a conventional power plug receptacle are usually uncovered, which are susceptible to foreign object insertion by inadvertent children and may thereby cause electric shock hazard. It is a further disadvantage that dust and liquid drops would get into the sockets to cause erosion problem.
A commonly seen safety feature for power plug receptacles is a cover plate having a plurality of upright posts that could be coupled with the holes of a socket. By attaching the plate to a socket, the protective functions against foreign intrusion and dust collection are indeed achieved. It is however disadvantageous in that the cover plate can be easily taken off children, and in that the cover plate has to be removed from the receptacle when the associated socket is in use. People need to take extra effort to keep the removed cover plates.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
Accordingly, the primary objective of the present invention is to provide a power plug receptacle having a safety cover, wherein at least a pivot hole, a guiding slot, a locking post and a torsional spring are provided within a socket and are coupled with corresponding members on the safety cover, by which the safety cover is resiliently ejected by the spring into a position where the holes of the socket and the holes of the safety cover are misaligned. Therefore, the socket is automatically sealed. To use the socket, the safety cover is rotated about an axis to have the socket holes and the cover holes suitably aligned for receiving a power plug. This mechanism achieves the protective functions against foreign intrusion and dust collection, and further solves the problem of removed safety cover keeping.
The various objects and advantages of the present invention will be more readily understood from the following detailed description when read in conjunction with the appended drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a preferred embodiment according to the present invention used in a power cord.
FIG. 2 is an exploded perspective view of local portion of the present invention.
FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional lateral view of local portion of the present invention.
FIG. 4 is a bottom view of the present invention in which a torsional spring blocks against a guiding pin when the safety cover is misaligned with the socket.
FIG. 5 is a bottom view of the present invention in which a torsional spring is pressed inwardly by a guiding pin when the safety cover is aligned with the socket.
FIG. 6 is a top view of the present invention when the safety cover is misaligned with the socket so as to seal the socket.
FIG. 7 is a top view of the present invention when the safety cover is aligned with the socket so as to open the socket.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
Referring to FIGS. 1 and 3, a power plug receptacle having a safety cover according to the present invention comprises a power plug receptacle 10 having a sockets 1, which has a rotary safety cover 2.
The socket 1 is provided with conventional mechanisms, such as metallic conducting plates, for electrically connecting an inserted power plug. And the inlet of the socker 1 can be chosen from a two-hole type, a three-hole type and other conventional types. Since the above-mentioned mechanisms belong to the prior art, we do not go further in that respect. The present invention is characterized by an additional mechanism provided to the socket 1. This mechanism comprises a pivot hole 12, a guiding slot 13, a locking post 14, a stopping plate 15 and a torsional spring 16. The pivot hole 12 and the guiding slot 13 are formed adjacent to the socker 1 on chosen locations. The inner wall of the socker 1 is provided with a locking post 14 and a stopping plate 15, so as to mount a torsional spring 16 on the locking post 14 and to block a first extending arm 161 of the torsional spring 16 against the stopping plate 15. As an alternative, a point on the inner wall of the associated socket may also retain the first extending arm 161.
The safety cover 2 is a plate provided with a plurality of insertion holes 21, a pivot post 22 and a guiding pin 23, respectively corresponding to the insertion hole 11, the pivot hole 12 and the guiding slot 13. The pivot post 22 is inserted into the pivot hole 12 to form a pivotal connection. The guiding pin 23 goes through the guiding slot 13 on the corresponding socket so as to be supported by a second extending arm 162 of the torsional spring 16, as shown in FIG. 4. As the guiding pin 23 moves along the guiding slot 13, the torsional spring 16 is twisted and the two extending arms thereof undergo a relative angular displacement, as shown in FIG. 5.
Because of the restoring force of the torsional spring 16 exerted on the guiding pin 23 by the second extending arm 162, a set of socker 1 and safety cover 2 as coupled by the above-mentioned mechanism before a power plug is inserted is in a configuration in which the insertion holes 11 of the socker 1 and the insertion holes 21 of the safety cover 2 are misaligned, as shown in FIG. 6. Therefore, the socket is prevented from foreign object insertion and dust collection. To use the socket 1, the rotary safety cover 2 is rotated to have the insertion holes 11 and the insertion holes 21 suitably aligned, as shown in FIG. 7 for receiving a power plug.
In this preferred embodiment, the guiding slot 13 of the socket 1 takes the shape of a gentle arc for the guiding pin 23 of the corresponding safety cover 2 to slide smoothly therein. Instead of using a stopping plate 15, the inner wall of the socker 1 can also block the first extending arm 161 of a torsional spring 16 that is mounted within a socket 1; this provides a sufficient retaining effect. Furthermore, the pivot post 22 is an extended member 221 of a safety cover 2 and is provided with a slot in the longitudinal direction. And, thereby, the pivot post 22 can be easily inserted into a pivot hole 12 of a socker 1 and then forms a stable pivotal connection.
The preferred embodiment is the present invention applied to the power plug receptacle of a power cord. The same invention can be applied to power socket of any type.
The present invention is thus described, and it will be obvious that the same may be varied in many ways. Such variations are not to be regarded as a departure from the spirit and scope of the present invention, and all such modifications as would be obvious to one skilled in the art are intended to be included within the scope of the following claims.
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